As we come to the end of 2022, we are thankful for how God has allowed Upstream to equip the Church and encourage believers over the past 12 months. One way we have sought to resource the church is through the blog posts we publish on this website. As an additional resource to you, we've compiled a list below of the top blog posts of 2022.
If there are posts here you haven't read, then we hope you'll take some time to read them. If you have read them and believe they would be useful to a church leader, sending organization staff member, or missionary you know, then we hope you'll pass them along.
Thank you for supporting us this year and being a part of our efforts to equip and encourage senders and the ones they send. We look forward to providing you with even more content and resources in 2023.
The Top Upstream Blog Posts of 2022
1 | "Missionary, Choose the Posture of a Learner" by Bradley Bell
Western missionaries often take on the role of expert when they move overseas, but doing so ignores the expertise of national partners and fails to model the humble posture Christ displayed while he ministered on earth. Instead of trying to be the expert, missionaries should seek to be lifelong learners in whatever ministry or position they are called to.
2 | "Lamentations as the Textbook for Newly Arrived Missionaries" by Bradley Bell
The book of Lamentations is often a difficult read for believers, but it can serve as a helpful guide to newly arrived missionaries who are trying to navigate the emotional challenges of transitioning to a new culture and capacity. Lamentations gives us a biblical model for voicing our struggles to God and reassures us that he can not only handle our laments but see us through them as well.
3 | "Together on Mission with God: A Biblical Basis for Partnership" by Joshua Bowman
When we're considering God’s mission to redeem a lost world, we must have a more substantial foundation for partnership than generic moral platitudes. Partnership is necessary because the gospel is universally relevant and provides the plan of redemption for sinners separated from God.
4 | "A Liturgy for When a Loved One Is Ailing Back Home" by Bradley Bell
A liturgy from Brad Bell for missionaries who are burdened by news of ailing loved ones in their home country.
5 | "Organizing Your Missions Leadership Team" by Larry McCrary
Many churches have a mission team or committee that is too narrowly focused in its responsibilities and primarily tasked with overseeing the budget, partners, and short-term trips. What if there was a better way to organize your team along your sending pipeline to maximize their impact on your church’s missions efforts?
6 | "How to Design a Mission Space in Your Church" by Larry McCrary
One way to increase mission awareness in your church is by creating a space that highlights your church’s mission values and partnerships. We’ve listed a few examples below that we think are helpful ways to make your church more aware of your mission efforts, but there are endless ways to design and utilize this space.
7 | "Missionary Prayer Is Missionary Care" by Dave & Lorene Wilson
Churches that seek to care for their missionaries in meaningful ways must learn how to pray fervently and biblically for those they have sent out. Instead of praying for comfort or protection, churches should pray first that their missionaries will stay faithful to Jesus and keep their eyes fixed on him. In this way, churches will provide spiritual support to their missionaries so they can endure the spiritual attacks they are sure to face as they obey the Great Commission.
8 | "The Cheerleader and the Curmudgeon" by Bradley Bell
Those preparing to move overseas are generally filled with excitement and optimism as they get ready to transition into their new ministry, and churches generally emphasize the positive aspects of missions work as they seek to mobilize believers to the nations. But cross-cultural ministry is marked by many challenges, and churches that work to develop a healthy realism in their Sent Ones will help them face, and hopefully persevere through, these challenges.